Seven Steps for Hiring an Electrical Contractor

electrical-contractorIf you need some electrical repairs or work done in your home or workplace, you’ll need to think about hiring an electrical contractor to complete the work. Unless you are an electrician yourself (or have the necessary skills/materials and equipment), or you personally know someone who can properly and safely perform the required work, you will need to find a professional to get the job done.But if you don’t have the skills or know anyone offhand, where do you start? There are things you can do and steps you can take to ensure you are hiring the right person for the job.

Define the Job or Project

First, you will need to get a solid grip on the specific electrical project that needs to be done, and what it all involves. Knowing exactly (or even roughly) what needs to be done is the first step in figuring out who is right for the job.

Ask Around

Before you start picking random names from your directory or through an online search for electrical contractors in your area, ask around for recommendations. Maybe a neighbor, family member, friend, coworker, or other acquaintance has had recent electrical work done to their home or workplace, and has a recommendation (or someone whom they would advise to avoid!). Be sure to ask for an honest opinion from someone whom you trust.

Research

Whether or not you now have a short list of names of electrical contractors from people in your circle, you should also do some of your own research for local electricians. Look them up online, check your phone directory, and call and email, as needed.

Check Backgrounds

Checking backgrounds is an important step in the process of locating and hiring an electrical contractor to perform electrical work on your home or workplace. Try to find out as much information as you can about an electrical contractor, regardless of whether you found them yourself or through a referral. Look for testimonies, references, years of experience, level of experience, as well as licensing and credentialing. There are plenty of “electricians” out there who aren’t actually licensed or certified to do the job, even if they might be skilled. You want to make sure you do your homework and get the right person for the job!

Interview

Once you’ve narrowed down the list to a handful of names, it’s time to interview your prospective candidates. Schedule appointments for them to come over so you can explain the project and show them what needs to be done, and they can give you an idea of whether they can do the job, when it can be done, how long it will take, and at what cost. You can also get a “feel” for this person’s knowledge, work ethic, and personality through an interview.

Compare

Now it’s time to make your decision based on the interviews you’ve had and the quotes you’ve been given. Be sure to factor in more than just the cost and the time it will take to get done; it’s equally important to consider an electrical contractor’s credentials, experience, and references.

Make a Contract

Don’t forget to draw up a contract, even if you’re hiring the electrician who happens to be your brother’s neighbor. Get the agreement down in writing! This should include details about the project, the timeframe, all costs involved, and terms of payment.Hiring an electrical contractor can seem like a daunting and lengthy process, but don’t settle for picking the first name you find in your research, choosing the “cheapest” electrician, or attempting to do the work yourself if you don’t have the proper skills, experience, or tools. What you decide to do and whom you decide to hire will make all the difference in the future electrical efficiency and safety of your home or workplace!

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